The Physics and Engineering Institute for Low Temperatures (FTINT) of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (NASU) was established in 1960 in Kharkiv on the initiative of Academician S.P.Korolyov, General Designer of ballistic missiles and spacecrafts in the USSR. Academician B.I.Verkin was the first director of FTINT. Now the Institute is named after B.I.Verkin.
In addition to fundamental research in low temperature physics, FTINT started wide R&D programs on cryogenic engineering. For this purpose Special Research & Development Bureau (SR&DB) for Cryogenic Technologies was organized in 1971.
The mission of SR&DB is scientific research and developments in the field of cryogenics as well as of space instruments, devices and on-ground testing equipment.
SR&DB has all necessary special scientific, measuring, testing equipment for low temperature, high vacuum research & developments in cryogenics, infra-red and other optical electronic devices.
Many test samples of products and systems developed by the SR&DB in the past are exploited here up to now. Among them are laboratory simulators of space factors, high-vacuum chambers, research apparatuses for material science investigations, equipment for heat transfer research in thermal insulation, liquid and solid cryogens etc.
SR&DB has about 400 persons on the staff now. Among them are about 50 PhD's and DSc's in physics, engineering and materials science. More than 200 persons are designers and developers in the field of cryogenics, electronics, electrical machinery, medical instrumentation etc. About 30 persons are specialists in computer calculations and modeling of various processes and systems.
At present the SR&DB occupies a six-storey building (about 2500 sq.meters) on the territory of FTINT in the northern outskirts of Kharkiv bordering on the forest and is connected conveniently with a railway station and the airport by the city transport and the underground. Kharkiv is a large highly - potential industrial and scientific center in the north-eastern region of Ukraine with a nearly two million population. In Kharkiv were is a state university, several tens of large educational and research institutes.
In SR&DB following research and designing areas are developed in the past and now:
- Development of optical-electronic devices, including infrared radiometers and on-board telescopes, infrared superconducting and non-superconducting bolometers, radiometers, photometers.
- Researches in space and cryogenic materials science, including on-ground simulating of main space factors influence on the materials properties; development of laboratory simulating equipment with high vacuum and low temperature conditions realized in large volumes as well as flows of electromagnetic radiation (including hard ultraviolet) and charged particles (protons, electrons).
- Applied superconductivity and its applications in electrical machines (generators, engines, magnet bearings) and electronics, including high sensitivity SQUID-detectors of magnetic and thermal fields etc. Research and developments were carried out by SR&DB in the fields of convenient as well as high-Tc superconductors.
- Development of SQUID-magnetometers and magnetogradiometers, magnetic screens for geophysics, medicine (for example, for magnetoencephalography) and biology, metrology, military applications.
- Development of cryogenic cooling and cryostatting systems for space equipment, high-sensitivity detectors of various measuring devices, superconducting electrical machines, cryosurgical instruments, storages, cryogenic processing equipment and research apparatuses. Among them are variety of special cryostats for optical, magnetic and other researches; melting and sublimation thermal accumulators; throttle Joule-Thompson type, Stirling-type and pulse-tube cryogenic gas machine coolers.
- Development of radio frequency mass spectrometers for space, sound rockets, aircraft and aerostat carriers applications, ensuring gases contents analyzing in atmosphere, including own space vehicle one.
- Development of semi-conductor and glass-metallic resistance thermometers for wide ranges of temperature, pressure, magnetic fields, vibrations intensity and acceleration.
- Studies in the fields of cryogenic heat transfer and liquid hydrodynamics, boiling, solidification and melting of cryogens. Research of microgravity and centrifugal force fields influence on heat transfer and hydrodynamics.
- Development of technologies and equipment for cryogenic processing, storage and transportation of food and drugs raw components, etc.
- Development of new technologies, instruments and software for medicine, including cryosurgery, magnetoencephalography, laser interstitial thermal therapy of tumors.
In 1997 SR&DB are carried out projects for China Peoples Republic, Germany and USA. These projects content is the development of on-ground space factors simulators, low weight cryocooler, cryogenic test equipment for materials science, cryogenic equipment for food and drugs raw components processing.